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50 Years of Passion for the Outdoors

The North Face story began in San Francisco in 1966, when two hiking enthusiasts resolved to follow their passions and founded a small mountaineering retail store. Two years later, the company began designing and manufacturing its own brand of technical mountaineering apparel and equipment. From the beginning, the brand committed to serving all those who desired to explore and to serving our natural wild lands by helping to conserve them.


Over the last 50 The North Face has lived by its “true north,” the belief that exploration has the power to change us, to challenge us and to help us see the world from new perspectives. The North Face pledges to:
  • Empower exploration and the thrill of the unknown for as many people as possible.
  • Protect the places where we live, play, and operate.
  • Evolve the way it makes products by improving environmental performance and social responsibility in the supply chain.

Technology & Innovation

It begins with The North Face’s world-class athletes. Their suggestions, recommendations and new equipment ideas provide the inspiration and challenges that drive the research and development of advanced materials, innovative design, and construction. The most crucial step involves testing both in their laboratories and with their athletes on expeditions around the world.

Recycled Materials

As The North Face increases the proportion of recycled plastic in its polyester fabric, it helps reduce plastic waste (mainly from water and soda bottles), reduce dependence on fossil fuels by reusing materials already in existence, and reduce the impact on air and water resources (as compared to virgin polyester). The North Face seeks to bring recycled content into a broader range of materials, focusing on its most popular products to make the biggest difference each season.

Ventrix Jacket

The Ventrix jacket features dynamic venting for radically balanced warmth and breathability that enables you to perform at your best. Micro vents open and close to regulate your body temperature as you move.

Shop Ventrix

About The North Face

When you think of movements born in San Francisco in the late ‘60s, the high-performance outerwear movement probably isn’t at the top of your list. That is, however, exactly when and where it all began. Back then, Alpinists were forced to use equipment they picked up from the local Army surplus store. There were hardly any manufacturers focused on outdoor equipment in the private sector. That was about to change in a big way.

In 1966, Doug Tompkins and his wife Susie decided to open a high-end ski and camping gear storefront at 308 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco's North Beach. They called their shop The North Face, a nod to the storied face of the Eiger and one of the most difficult climbs in the Northern Hemisphere. The store quickly became a hangout for local outdoor enthusiasts, and the legend was born.

In 1968, Kenneth ‘Hap’ Klopp acquired The North Face and shifted the company’s focus from retail sales to the design and manufacture of outdoor clothing and equipment. The first manufacturing facility was squeezed into the back of The North Face store in Berkeley. Just a year later, a full-blown factory was opened to produce specialized gear and outerwear.

Having established itself as a leader in outdoor apparel and equipment, The North Face began to sponsor expeditions to far flung, untouched locations at every corner of the globe. This launched a proud tradition of exploration that has continued for more than 50 years and solidified the brand’s standing as a leader in the outdoor industry.

By the early ’80s, The North Face had expanded its product offering to the world of extreme skiing. Jackets, pants, gloves, and even beanies from The North Face were designed to withstand the harshest weather on the most unforgiving peaks in the world—a far cry from the mostly basic offerings from other manufacturers. By the end of the decade, The North Face became the only supplier in the United States to offer a comprehensive collection of high-performance outerwear, skiwear, sleeping bags, backpacks, and tents.

The North Face entered the sportswear market in the ‘90s with its Tekware line. This innovative collection was designed to provide rock climbers, backpackers, hikers, trail runners, and outdoor enthusiasts with the ultimate fit and function. As the ‘90s drew to a close, the Half-Dome logo was a common sight at ultra-marathons. In response, The North Face launched its own line of trekking and trail-running shoes to complement its hiking, backpacking, and winter boots and to outfit the outdoor enthusiast from head to toe.

Today, almost 50 years since its humble beginnings in San Francisco, the North Face offers an extensive line of men’s and women’s outdoor gear and clothing. Whether you’re looking for a hat, a windbreaker, a down jacket, or even an expedition shelter for a month at basecamp high in the Himalayas, The North Face can provide you with gear built to meet your needs and much more.